Amoeblog

Jon Longhi's Best of 2018

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 18, 2018 04:07pm | Post a Comment

Brian EnoBy Jon Longhi

Brian EnoMusic For Installations (CD & LP Box Set):
One of the things I've always loved about Brian Eno is that he seems to have an almost limitless output of new music. His body of work is gigantic. I've been buying his cds for decades and it's nice to know that he'll always come up with something new to charm, beguile, or soothe me. His ambient pieces tend to be my favorite ones. In these works, he tries to create a kind of music that sounds like it is going on forever and you are just hearing a tiny excerpt of it. In the book that accompanies this new box set, Eno reveals that he has been obsessed with creating music that doesn't just sound like it goes on forever but actually DOES go on forever. To aid him in this quest, he created what he refers to as "generative systems." These are either tape loops or computer programs that take simple harmonious tones and fragments of melody, and then randomly recombines them in patterns of music that will not repeat themselves for sometimes years or even decades. He even developed a computer program called 77 Million Paintings that creates an endless output of ambient music that NEVER repeats itself and is a truly infinite piece of music. This box set is a retrospective of some of the best of these sonic experiments. The title Music For Installations is quite literal because most of these works were composed to accompany art installations and Eno went to great lengths to make sure that every person who visited the art exhibits heard a different and unique piece of music. Some of these art installations were open for six months but had soundtracks that could play for over two centuries! This is a transcendentally beautiful set of music and it goes on for hours and hours. Like the best ambient music, it can either be in the background or the foreground of your life. The soothing sonic textures are guaranteed to heal your soul and move your troubled mind to tranquil peaceful places. The set is a little expensive, but since you get six CDs and roughly as many hours of music, you're only paying about ten bucks per CD/hour, which in the long run is a real bargain.

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Happy Birthday, X Minus One - radio's greatest sci-fi anthology!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 24, 2012 11:23am | Post a Comment
Today is the 57th birthday of X Minus One, a science fiction anthology that debuted on NBC radio on 24 April, 1955. 
X Minus One

It began as a sort-of revival of pioneering sci-fi program, Dimension X and the first fifteen episodes were remakes from that series. The remainder of the episodes were originals from staff writers Ernest
 Kinoy and George Lefferts as well as their adaptations of new works by the likes of A. A. PhelpsJr., Alan Nourse, Algis Budrys, Arthur Sellings, Clifford Simak, Donald A. Wollheim, Evelyn Smith, F. L. Wallace, Finn O'Donovan, Fletcher Pratt, Frank M. Robinson, Frank Quattrochi, Frederic Brown, Frederick Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Gordon R. Dickson, Graham Doar, H. Beam Piper, H. L. Gold, Isaac Asimov, J. T. McIntosh, Jack McKenty, James Blish, James E. Gunn, James E. Gunn, James H. Schmitz, Katherine MacLean, L. Sprague de Camp, Mark Clifton, Milton Lesser, Murray Leinster, Ned Lang, Peter Phillips, Phillip K. Dick, Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Richard Maples, Richard Wilson, Robert Bloch, Robert Heinlein, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg, Ross Rockland, Stephen Arr, Stephen Vincent Benet, Steven Tall, Theodore sturgeon, Tom Goodwin, Vaughn Shelton, William Tenn, and Wyman Guin.

Each episode began with announcer (variously Ben Grauer, Bill Rippe, Don Pardo, Fred Collins, Jack Costello, Kenneth Banghart and Roger Tuttle) intoning:

Countdown for blastoff... X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one... Fire! From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you'll live in a 
million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Street 
and Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents... X Minus One.

As a result of renewed interest in Old Time Radio, Robert Silverberg wrote a new episode "The Iron Chancellor" in 1973 but did not result in a revival.

NBC was infamous for not showing much interest in their radio programs -- especially as radio waned and TV waxed -- and Dimension X suffered from being bounced around between Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and barely received any promotion. However, they didn't skimp on the writing and sound effects budget and the results were frequently amazing.

Ultimately the series ran for 124 episodes (plus the audition). Its last episode aired 9 January, 1958. Almost all episodes have been preserved and most can be listened to here. They also appear on CDs and Audio DVDs, which can sometimes be found at Amoeba. NB: the ongoing popularity of X Minus One has led to some unscrupulous folks splicing together various previously existing material from different sources to create "newly discovered" episodes. Special thanks to the folks at the Digital Deli Too for their hard work in the name of preserving OTR. Consult with them before splurging.

Happy Birthday, Dimension X - Radio's pioneering sci-fi series

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 8, 2012 08:57am | Post a Comment
Dimension X advertisementDimension X debuted on NBC radio on this day (April 8), 1950. The first thirteen episodes were performed live whilst the remainder were pre-recorded. It was directed by Fred WieheClipping of Dimension X and Edward King. The narrator and announcer was Norman Rose, who began each program with the introduction, "Adventures in time and space- told in future tense..." before "Dimension X!" boomed and echoed.


Dimension X wasn't the first adult science-fiction anthology program (2000 Plus debuted a month earlier on the Mutual network) but it was, perhaps, the best - drawing from writers like Clifford D. Simak, Donald A. Wollheim, E. M. Hull, Fletcher Pratt, Frank M. Robinson, Fredric Brown, Graham Doar, H. Beam Piper, Isaac Asimov, Jack Vance, Jack Williamson, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, L. Ron Hubbard, Murray Leinster, Nelson BondRay Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert Bloch, Stephen Vincent Benet, Villiers Gerson, and William Tenn. Most episodes were adapted from pre-existing works by Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts but the two also provided original
 works.Billboard clipping about Dimension X
It was first auditioned as Out of This World, which it was originally auditioned as on February 23, 1950. Though one of the best sci-fi series ever, the famously clueless folks at NBC never gave it proper promotion or care, bouncing it around to various slots on four different days of the week.

Nightfall

Posted by phil blankenship, March 8, 2008 08:59pm | Post a Comment
 



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